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Live Challenges

Seeking: Chemical building blocks derived from biomass waste streams

Closing Date: August 2nd 2024

Portrait Chris Lindsay

"This is an amazing challenge… help us unlock the potential of biomass waste to create a sustainable alternative to traditional fossil fuel, something we're truly passionate about. We know we can’t do this alone which is why we’re reaching out to discover new collaborations and opportunities."

Chris Lindsay, Materials Science Team Leader


We are seeking to develop a greener product portfolio across our existing product lines including herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and more.

Our products are formulated as granules, solutions, emulsions or dispersions using co-formulants that include solvents, surfactants and dispersants.  They often contain multiple active ingredients and are diluted into water for use.

Traditionally, small-molecule chemicals, ingredients, and co-formulants are synthesized from building blocks derived from fossil fuels. We are looking to replace the use of fossil fuel derived chemical building blocks with more sustainable building blocks derived from biomass waste streams.

“Syngenta is seeking chemical building blocks derived from biomass waste which could be used to formulate new active ingredients and co-formulants for more sustainable crop protection products. New pathways to existing ingredients and entirely new chemicals are of particular interest. Additionally new sustainable routes to bio-derived solvents are of interest too.”

The solutions we are seeking should be based on chemistries with a low carbon footprint based on both the sustainable biorenewable content and the processes by which they are manufactured. The biorenewable sources should not compete with the food chain or lead to environmental depletion (e.g. deforestation). Preferably, the sources will be biowaste but other waste sources will be considered if they can potentially lead to sustainable and diverse sourcing.

What we're looking for

  •  Full traceability to source
  •  Be sustainable long term

*Based on bio-waste or other sustainable waste sources

  • Low energy/economically viable extraction and/or manufacturing process
  • Potential to scale 5 - 10 year time horizon, but do not need to be scalable in short-term, although short-term solutions are of interest
  • Solutions that are scalable cross-industry, not just applicable to agriculture

*We are also open to hearing about solutions derived from non-renewable recycled waste feedstocks but these are of secondary interest.

What we can offer you

Collaborator of choice

For hundreds of institutions, our innovative and forward thinking scientists are keen to explore how we can partner for success

Realize real world potential from your research

Through our global reach and market knowledge we can help deliver impact from your research or technology

Funding and backing

We are able to fund selected projects to drive toward commercialization through our global footprint. We'll discuss with you how best we can take forward your technology or research together

New avenues and opportunities

Shared passion to tackle agriculture’s most complex challenges, increase innovation, and advance more sustainable agriculture

Work with us to help feed the world

Our people are specialists: they are innovators, scientists, engineers, technologists, regulatory experts and data scientists in multiple fields.